Monday, 25 July 2016

Race Reports: #50at50 completed at Marathon Club Ireland B2B in Offaly!

I am purposefully choosing a life of intention, direction and being present on a daily basis. This means perpetually doing more of what I love most. And trying to contribute with the same level of intention and direction to the world around me.

Doing this releases you of a burden. And once you drop that burden, there is actually no need to pick it up again.

What is that burden? Others' expectations.

I recently decided to remove some of them to check what would happen. It is liberating. So now all your and others' expectations of me are of no more use to me anymore. I'm giving them back to you, they are yours to keep.

How does this Intentional Living work? I'll keep it short. You figure out what you love doing most and then simply start doing it. Then set an intention. Case in point is my love for long distance running.

My intention is to run for as long as I can, as often as I can, as far as I can go, as long as I keep loving it. Then I set a direction I want to take it in. This year that was #50at50. To have completed 50 Marathons before my 51st birthday. Then on a daily basis I do what I love most to move me toward that direction. Simple and oh so effective.

I try and do what I love most every day. Makes me happier, living in the moment, creating moments as they happen.

My 51st birthday is in February 2017. I completed the #50at50 yesterday, with more than 6 months to spare. Why? I just kept doing what I love most on a daily basis. Simple. And effective.

Medals 49 & 50, completing #50at50
On Friday we travelled to Tullamore, Co. Offaly for my third ever Back to Back Marathon weekend. 26.2 miles on Saturday from Clonmore Harps GAA club. 26.2 miles Sunday around Mount Lucas Wind Turbine Farm about 5 miles South of Rhode.

These weekends are never just about running. They are about an extended family of friends who genuinely care for and support each other. Whether they are from Marathon Club Ireland, East of Ireland, East Antrim Marathon Series, Kerry Crusaders, Born To Run Tralee or any other Clubs that come to these smaller races. This was more than evident this weekend.

Big, massive thanks go to Brenda and Shane Dunphy who put us up in their home for the weekend and provided shelter, food, hot drinks and more. To Elaine and Denzil Jacobs and family for opening their house on Friday and Saturday evening to about 15-20 people and again providing food and beverages. To Maura Coppinger for the wonderful MCI Rocks cake. To Mary and David Toomey for the company and lifts. To Maryse and Derek Mackessy for being excellent company. To Catherine, Lindsey and Vincent Guthrie for everything you do for us and the Club. To Aiden Swords and Johnny Healy, Race Directors for 2 excellent courses and races!!

 Running is Fun with Mary Toomey Roche & Brenda Barrett Dunphy.
 The gorgeous MCI Rocks cake!!
MCI is one big happy family, hydration with Maryse O'Connor Mackessy, Derek Mackessy, David Toomey, Shane Dunphy and Brenda Barrett Dunhpy.
With Shane Dunphy in the 'Bog' on Saturday.

Big, massive thanks to all the runners both Saturday and Sunday for your messages of support and your well wishes (Yes Shaun Boyle that's you too and you are in the Blog :) ). Your words and hugs were very much appreciated. To Tiger O'Flaherty for your inspiring speech to celebrate your 100th Marathon, respect and congrats. To Eimear Hurley for the biggest hug I have gotten in ages and your kind words. To Theresa Grimes for continuing our Tag games. To Tiger, Shane and Valerie De Burca for the company in the bog. To Angela Ross Ines for the 20 odd miles of excellent company on Sunday.

The happy 4 who finished Day 1 together. With Shane Dunphy, Tiger O'Flaherty and Valerie De Burca. Both Tiger and Valerie ran their first ever Back to Back's.

Ran from mile 6ish to 26.2 in the Wind Turbine Farm on Sunday with Angela Ross Ines. Thanks Angela!
 The hero of the weekend! Tiger O'Flaherty accompanied by his son Paul getting the 100th Marathon medal from Vincent Guthrie.
Group picture with 100th Marathon man Tiger!

Big, massive thanks to Carol Madden, Philip McEvoy, Carmel Doherty, Brenda & Mary for the pictures to remind me of #50at50.

And I'm probably forgetting people. Thanks to you all!

Saturday we started at the Club house of Clonmore Harps GAA club. Here's another thank you. To them for opening their facilities to us. We ran a 6.5 mile out and back route twice to make up the 26.2 miles. Some of this on country roads and then a couple of miles on trail of road. Trail? Or Bog? You decide. To navigate this section was interesting and a nice change. It was a warm and humid day and the lack of rain made the bog easier to negotiate. For once no rain was better :)

 The Bog that was part of Saturday's Marathon :)

Sunday we ran the entire race in Bord Na Mona's Mount Lucas Wind Turbine Farm. This made my 50th Marathon a very unique experience indeed. We ran a 7k loop followed by 7 loops of 5K. While they are big when you stand under them, they don't make that much noise. We started of with a big shower of rain which made me smile and everyone else point at me, asking to remove the stupid grin of my face :)

The Wind Turbine Farm at Mount Lucas was Sundays scene for the Marathon.

The weather improved throughout the run and in the end we had blue skies and humid conditions.

That's it. #50at50 done within the embrace of the wonderful MCI family.

What's next? I'm taking a wee break from racing to build up some strength again via training. Next Marathon is East Cork Harbour August 20th. That's 4 weeks away for once :) After that I will run the races I feel like running for the rest of the year and see where that takes me.

Running is part of who I am and a big part of what makes me happy!

As for the intention. That stays the same. Run for as long as I can, as often as I can, as far as I can go, as long as I keep loving it. And I worked out my Direction for 2017.

12 Multiples or Ultra's for the year or 1 per month. Anyone know a good hashtag for this????

A Multiple is more than 1 successive Day racing Marathon or longer. Ultra's are any race longer than 26.2 miles. 12 of these for the year (and a few Marathons as training runs). Hopefully this will include races like the Quadrathon in Donegal, a multiple in Ballina, Connemara Ultra again, Tralee 100K and a Double Marathon in Sixmilebridge, the Wicklow Way Ultra etc...

Thanks again everyone for all your kind words, for reading this blog and for running alongside me. You are all awesome! You are all unique! You can all live intentionally too!!!

Miles with Smiles and 50 hugs each. xxxxx


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Race Report: MCI Tralee Back to Back Marathons!

"Talk to me not of time and place; I owe I'm happy to the chase." - William Shakespeare!

This weekend to me was as much about Marathons as about reconnection with self. I wasn't in the happiest of places before heading to Tralee! I had some mental injuries and was tending to them when the weekend came up.

I travelled with 2 certainties. 1- This was the right thing to do. 2- I love running long distance and the people I meet doing it.

At the other end of the weekend I have only fond memories, renewed friendships, a stronger reconnection with my core and a sense of purpose that is rock solid. Result!

And I ran Back to Back 26.2 miles on Saturday and Sunday.

Let's start the race report with a one liner :) If a certain beer brand did Marathons they would probably not be a patch on those organised by Marathon Club Ireland.

Both days the Race Director, the volunteers, the marshals and the fellow runners were amazing. These races MCI put on are solely focused on making it easier and better for us runners. I always forget people and apologise for that but special thanks for this weekend to Race Director Brian O' Se, Vincent and Lindsey Guthrie, Kirstie McTrusty and Brian Byrne. You all did stellar work and gave up 2 days of your time just for us runners. Love and respect to you all!

On a personal note also thanks to Catherine Costello for the Tralee welcome and company on Friday evening.

Saturday morning I woke up at 6am for an 8am start. Breakfast in a local B&B was laid out for me and I enjoyed it looking out the window with a smile. It was raining. Finally! I know, I know. But this is about me OK. I looooovvvveee running in the rain.

By the way thanks for pictures Mary Mockett, Lindsey Guthrie, Vincent Guthrie, Kirsty McTrusty and Valerie De Burca!

 Running in the Rain makes me happy!
Tired but Happy :) 

Walked the 15 or so minutes to the registration in the Rose Hotel who very kindly offered us a room during the day for both days!! Met with lots of running buddies which shatters any pre-race nerves. The camaraderie and laughs are always plentiful at these events. Found out that there was a Garda enforced change in route with an initial 2.3 mile loop followed by 6 loops of 4 miles.

The same loop some of us did the 40 Mile Ultra on. Groundhog Day x 2! 2 days of 6 more loops on the same course we did 10 times 2 weeks ago.

I feel like an Army Recon Unit now. I can give you the exact location of bends, potholes, houses, gates, fences, trees and colours of bay windows on the entire loop :) There is a very disturbing looking Leprechaun on the route as well, or was that an effigy to a Kerry footballer? Repetition does strange things to the mind :) Also 13 hills each day, for 2 days! Sweet!

 Start Line Day 1!
Start line Day 2!

It rained though. Both days. Sunday heavier than Saturday. Not fun for most runners, pure bliss for me. Saturday I felt sluggish and slow. I had lost my personal mojo and was tired. This was the ideal way to shake all that off. 26.2 miles of a reconnection run. It worked. Firstly thanks to Eamon Egan for the company on the first 11 miles. It was such fun chatting with you as the miles melted away. Thanks Eamon.

With Eamon Egan on Day 1!

I have to say the same thanks for Sunday, when my good friend Cathy Quilter joined me for about the same distance of 10-11 miles. Thanks Cathy, it was as always great fun running with you!!

On both days I played a game of tag with another great running friend, Theresa Grimes. Theresa and myself would pass each other on several occasions on the laps and were always encouraging each other until we met again. Thanks Theresa, big hug!

I felt much better on Sunday. It might have been the consistent rain. It might have been as Brian Byrne reminded me muscle memory, your legs know the course and the distance. Truth is this was only my second Back to Back and just like last time the second day was easier!

I believe on this occasion it was also the mental release I got from the Saturday run coupled with complete rest afterwards. I only got up for food and the customary 3 pints to sleep better.

2nd ever Back to Back!
Getting the hugs and medal from Paddy Mockett after Day 2!
With Valerie De Burca at the end of Day 1!

For those into results. Day 2 was about 15 minutes faster than Day 1, just like on my first B2B. And these were Marathons 47 & 48.

What's next? Marathon Club Ireland are going nuts (in a good way) this July and are organising another Back to Back in 11 & 12 days in Offaly. Saturday in Rhode and Sunday on Mount Lucas Turbine Wind Farm. I'm signed up and ready to go! You can join me by registering via the link for only €10 per Marathon!!

As Muddy Waters used to sing: Got My Mojo Workin'

That's the Mojo workin', can you sse it yet??? ;)

Miles with smiles and hugs,

Patte xxxxx

Monday, 4 July 2016

Tralee! Again? And what's a Back to Back?

I love Marathon Club Ireland events. There is always a gathering of wonderful, wonderful people at them. People who run, laugh, dance, talk, inspire, love and be together. People who look after each other, encourage each other and care for each other.

We are meeting in Tralee this coming weekend. I hear you think all the way over here in my Limerick office. Tralee? Wasn't he there about a week ago? Yes, this will be my 3rd trip to Tralee this year. I'm getting to know it better and better. And I like going there. And as you remember from last week I was made an honorary member of Born To Run Tralee Marathon Club. So I'm kind of running a little bit at home Saturday and Sunday :)

In March I did my first Back to Back Marathons in Tralee. So it is fitting that my second attempt at it is in the same place but on a different route.

What's a Back to Back? 2 Full (26.2 miles) marathons in 2 consecutive days. You can do just the 1 yet quite a number of us will attempt the 2.

For me it is a wonderful way to spend a weekend with friends and do one of the things I love most, running!

Here's the route we will follow. 3 laps of 8.75 miles each day!

I will probably start at 8am both days. If you are around Tralee, come give us a shout. I'll be there from Friday to Monday morning.

And I'll have a Race Report Blog on Tuesday next!

Have a wonderful week! Miles with Smiles.

Patte xxxxx